Western Australia is the most attractive jurisdiction in the world for mining investment followed by Saskatchewan (2nd) and Nevada (3rd), according to the Annual Survey of Mining Companies by the Fraser Institute.
This year’s report ranks 84 jurisdictions around the world based on their geologic attractiveness (minerals and metals) and government policies that encourage or deter exploration and investment.
Rounding out the top 10 jurisdictions are Alaska (4th), Arizona (5th), Quebec (6th), Idaho (7th), Morocco (8th), Yukon (9th), and South Australia (10th).
This year’s least-attractive jurisdictions include Zimbabwe and four jurisdictions in Latin America (including Argentina and the Caribbean).
“A sound regulatory regime coupled with competitive taxes make a jurisdiction attractive to investors,” said Jairo Yunis, Fraser Institute policy analyst and report co-author.
Minerals Council of Australia Chief Executive Officer Tania Constable said with five states ranked inside the top twenty mining regions in the world, Australia has again rated favourably against global competitors.
“The report also notes that Australia continues to be the most attractive region in the world for mining investment based on an average of all states; however, it also highlights that all states experienced a deterioration in their ratings of policy perception.”
Ms Constable said there is an urgent need for governments to address this slide.
“Australia cannot continue to rely on its geological potential alone to attract investment with key competitor regions for mining investment in Canada and the United States being more favourably viewed on their policy settings.
“Policies that deliver globally competitive tax rates, greater regulatory certainty particularly in streamlining environmental assessment and approvals between the Australian Government and states, more workplace relations flexibility and increased government funding for pre-competitive exploration programs are all essential to mining’s long-term future and Australia’s economic prosperity.
Victoria’s ranking on mining investment policy perceptions saw improvement, increasing from 56th in 2020 to 39th in 2021.
from James Sorahan, Executive Director, MCA Victoria said while it is a welcome improvement, Victoria has a lot of work to do to improve the regulatory environment and tax regime to attract investment into the state with Victoria ranking lowest of all Australian states.
The overall improvement investment attractiveness has been driven by Victoria’s minerals potential and exploration effort by industry.
Victoria’s ranking was negatively impacted by a decline in policy perceptions driven by poor government regulation and skills challenges, particularly uncertainty concerning the administration of regulations.
“Victoria is still dealing with the repercussions of the State Government’s gold royalty which imposed a higher royalty on Victoria than Western Australia – Australia’s biggest gold mining state. Victoria’s reputation as a high taxing jurisdiction ranks the state as the worst in Australia on tax.
Victoria is home to two of the world’s highest grade gold mines and gold production has more than doubled in the last five years. There are a number of potential new projects across the state in mineral sands, and copper and zinc.
Meanwhile, rxploration spending is at a record high with $220.4 million spent in 2021 – an 822 per cent increase since 2015.
However, Mr Sorahan said the record investment in exploration in recent years must be able to be converted into new mnes where clear and consistent environmental, social and safety requirements are met.
“Investors require clarity on approval processes and timeframes and certainty that meeting or exceeding environmental, safety and social requirements should lead to a project being developed.
“As a highly regulated industry, efficient government policy and regulation is critical to ensure the minerals industry can contribute to regional development. Delays in approvals and additional or changing unnecessary regulation has significant impacts in investment and jobs.
“A well-funded regulator that meets its own timelines for permit approvals, confidence in the permitting and environmental approvals, and clear regulations will help improve Victoria’s policy perceptions.”